Fake News: Newsweek’s Article on Football Celebrations in Croatia Based on Inaccuracies

Total Croatia News

The magazine falsely claims that Ustasha cries and Nazi salutes were heard and seen at the homecoming celebrations for Croatia’s World Cup team.

The Newsweek magazine has published an article about recent homecoming celebrations for the Croatian national football team and the appearance at the party by controversial singer Marko Perković Thompson, under the headline “Croatia World Cup Team Invites Pro-Fascist Singer as Crowd Celebrates With Nazi Salutes and Battle Cries,” reports Index.hr on July 24, 2018.

Much of the headline is not true and is an example of poorly-researched journalism since the celebrations did not feature Ustasha battle cries nor Nazi salutes. No such incidents have been reported anywhere else in the city as well, even though more than half a million people came to the streets of the Croatian capital.

The article written by journalist Cristina Maza says: “When playing for the Croatian national soccer team and an audience of around 500,000 spectators last week, Perković began his performance by screaming Ustase battle cries. Several people in the audience were seen making Nazi salutes, sparking intense debate across the country where divisions remain over the legacy of the World War II–era regime.”

The rest of the article is mostly written correctly and is based on facts, but these claims and the headline based on them simply do not match the truth and falsely describe what happened.

It is also problematic that Newsweek needed a whole week to publish an article about Thompson’s appearance at the celebrations, and during the week numerous factually-correct articles have been published in a number of European media outlets. In them, no one claimed that anyone was shouting the Ustasha slogan “For Homeland Ready.” The slogan is part of Perković’s usual repertoire, but this time he skipped it.

It is possible that part of the problem is the fact that Newsweek’s journalist apparently did not talk with anyone in Croatia, but quoted experts from the United Kingdom and the United States. Any interlocutor from Croatia would surely have denied that Thompson shouted Ustasha slogans and that Nazi salutes were seen. The criticism of Thompson’s appearance in the Croatian media is based on known controversies from his career, and not on what he did last Monday.

Of course, this article in Newsweek and many other, critical fact-based articles in numerous media outlets could have been avoided if Thompson did not come to the celebrations, where he was allegedly invited by Luka Modrić.

Translated from Index.hr.


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